Let me set the scene for you:
It’s currently 12:48 a.m. I’m sitting in a dark living room with the ‘80s Hits station playing retro music, a sleeping baby on the couch next to me, and I’m hunched over a glowing computer screen working on what had better be my final project of the day.
When I started freelancing, I was excited about all the new possibilities my chosen profession was sure to bring. While I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t be glamorous, I somehow didn’t envision listening to The Cutting Crew singing “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” while I balanced my laptop on a Boppy pillow and cringed every time a dog barked for fear my toddler would awake and demand to be nursed back to sleep while my deadlines slipped by.
It’s actually pretty amazing how much parenthood informs my freelance writing business. I was elated when my daughter finally learned to nap without being held, because it meant I could sneak in a couple of extra SEO articles a day. That joy was dashed when she went from two naps a day to only one. I’m still grieving the loss of the morning nap.
Even my work environment is arranged around the baby’s needs. Believe me, I’m not sitting here in the dark as Cher laments her inability to turn back time because it’s part of my “process.” In reality, the music helps keep the little one asleep, and turning on the lights would obviously result in a less-than-productive environment when she started wailing from the inconvenience. Heck, I’m actually a little chilly, but I can’t turn off the air conditioner because it’s providing the oh-so-important white noise that makes this late-night writing possible.
I’m even half afraid to get up at the moment for fear of tripping in the dark over Curios George, a sippy cup, or a copy of Hop on Pop. It’s not my safety I’m taking into consideration, mind you, but the fact that stepping on one rogue peg puzzle piece will cause me to yelp and thereby wake Sleeping Beauty.
Don’t get the idea that I’m complaining, though, because I am definitely not. I chose this career for exactly this reason. I make my own hours (even if they do end up being at one o’clock in the morning sometimes) so that I can be with my sweet girl. I didn’t have to ask a boss for time off to take her to her 18-month well-baby visit today; I just did it. Any time I want to, I can ask her what the rooster says (“er-er”) or to hug me tight.
Like Bobby Brown says: It’s my prerogative.